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  Ariodante Reviews
Ariodante
Lyric Opera

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...One of Ariodante's biggest moments comes in "Scherza infida," a pained, 12-minute Act 2 aria after the character (erroneously) learns that Ginevra, the woman he is supposed to marry the next day, has cheated on him. Although Miller's softer-edged voice might not have the smoky hues of some mezzo-sopranos, she nonetheless convincingly conveyed the character's deep anguish."
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Kyle MacMillan



Chicago On the Aisle- Highly Recommended

"...The presence of conductor Harry Bicket in the pit means this Baroque endeavor is in very good hands. Bicket managed to elicit crisp, incisive playing from the Lyric Opera Orchestra while at the same time providing fluid support for the singers. The result was Handel opera served fresh, buoyant and vital."
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Lawrence B. Johnson



Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...Itís hard to believe that, following its Covent Garden debut in 1735, this glorious opera seria endured 191 years of neglect. It returned to the boards in 1926, even more so in the 1970s, selling its stuff with dazzling vocal pyrotechnics, courtly dances, and a hard-driving tale of innocence traduced and true love vindicated."
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Lawrence Bommer



Around The Town Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...Although Coote's illness is unfortunate, mezzo Miller stepped into the role ably. The role was originally written for a castrato, but a mezzo voice makes Ariodante sound more like a teenager, which is apparently the characterization Miller is going for. The early Act I aria Con l'ali di costanza is done with giddiness-inducing enthusiasm and astonishing ornament, matching the naÔve joy of Rae's first aria, Vezze, lusinghe. The centerpiece of the opera is Ariodante's twelve-minute aria, Scherza infida, which he sings as a good-bye to love upon believing he has been betrayed. Bicket conducts it at an appropriately brooding tempo and Miller finds the subtlety in each shift in musical phrasing as Ariodante processes his first and worst heartbreak. Although the opera is four hours long with this production's intermissions, every minute of this particular aria is earned and effective."
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Jacob Davis



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...If youíre on the hunt for a treasure box of coruscating melodies, look toward Handelís opera ďAriodante,Ē lost to history for nearly two centuries after its 1735 premiere at Covent Garden, revived in 1926 in Stuttgart, and making its Lyric Opera debut in a production created in partnership with the Festival díAix-en-Provence, the Dutch National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company."
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Irene Hsiao



WTTW- Recommended

"...For Baroque music lovers, Handelís rarely heard score Ė expertly played by the Lyric Opera orchestra under the direction of Harry Bicket Ė is the primary reason to catch this ďAriodante.Ē As for the kinky, souped-up undertow of it all, just write it off as a directorís self-indulgence."
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Hedy Weiss



Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...This is a good show, but it is not for the uninitiated. If you are trying to twist someone's arm to try opera for the first time, you probably want to drag them to La Traviata before it closes. That said, the music is beautiful and the cast very talented, and as long as you clear your entire evening, I think this show is worth it."
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Kevin Curran



Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Recommended

"...In revival Director Benjamin Davis' take, it is women who take center stage, even as they are pushed onto the sidelines. Whereas the musically rich but narratively trite Handel original is about the triumph of virtue, innocence and love, this production is about the dismissal of women's' agency. Davis positions it as Princess Ginevra's story: the irony is well-played for the thesis, for she is thus not even the titular character of her own tale (Ariodante may have 7 arias, but also disappears, presumed dead, for a large tract of story)."
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Ian Rigg



Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...Handel's score is beautifully melodic and of course performed superbly by the Lyric orchestra conducted by Harry Bicket with the addition of Mark Shuldiner, harpsichord and David Walker, theorbo."
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Jodie Jacobs